Directions in Highway Safety: May/June 2024 Issue

Directions in Highway Safety
Resource Type
GHSA Publication

Quick Links: Safety Roundup | SHSOs & Digital Alerting | Member Spotlight

The GHSA 2024 Annual Meeting is less than three months away! Equitable traffic enforcement is essential to reaching our goal of zero roadway deaths. This year’s agenda reaffirms our commitment to providing learning and networking opportunities for law enforcement officials as we work together to improve safety for everyone on the road.

Spotlight on law enforcement at #GHSA2024 workshops

Workshops will provide the opportunity to dive deep into safety topics pertinent to their day-to-day work. Each of the five workshop blocks has at least one session geared specifically toward law enforcement.

General Sessions will also include the law enforcement perspective as part of larger conversations on how to reduce dangerous driving behaviors and improve roadway safety. On Tuesday, experts will discuss the holistic Safe System approach, which includes a strong role for law enforcement and first responders. The Wednesday General Session will address emerging issues and the future of traffic safety. In addition to the numerous educational sessions, there will also be ample opportunities for law enforcement officers to network, connect and socialize.

Law enforcement officials and their partners won’t want to miss the services and technologies relevant to their work on display in the Exhibit Hall. Booths in the Exhibit Hall are going fast – only seven remain! Don’t miss your chance to showcase your products and services for roadway leaders from across the country. Register today!

🚨 Related News: While we’re on the topic of law enforcement, we wanted to share a video from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission that illustrates the critical role officers play in reducing impaired and distracted driving, speeding and seat belt violations. Watch the other videos in the campaign.

🚨 Stay Alert: Digital alerting technology that provides in-vehicle warnings to drivers about emergency vehicles up ahead can improve safety for law enforcement officers and other roadside responders. Keep reading this issue for an article on how states are using federal funds to deploy this lifesaving tech.

Safety Roundup

🟠 GHSA has produced a guidance document to characterize more accurately, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the states’ progress in adopting elements of the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria, 6th Edition. It also highlights promising practices and provides concrete examples that SHSOs can use to support their own efforts to improve crash data collection and integration with other critical data sets.

🟠 Mark your calendars for an August 6 virtual Post-Crash Care Summit sponsored by the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services and coordinated by the NHTSA Office of EMS with assistance from GHSA. The goal of the meeting is to identify and describe best practices in post-crash care by State Highway Safety Offices in collaboration with EMS and 911. Details will be provided in the coming weeks.

🟠 GHSA will hold a July 9 webinar, sponsored by Qualcomm, to share an overview of GHSA's new pedestrian traffic fatality data and hear from states about the creative approaches they're taking to safety for people walking and rolling. Learn more and register for the webinar.

🟠 As part of a new safety campaign, social media influencers are sharing videos about the “sound of safety” when buckling up in an Uber. Check out one of the videos from Jojo’s ASMR, a YouTuber with nearly 4 million followers.

🟠 An article in Vox by Marin Cogan about traffic safety enforcement that includes comments from GHSA CEO Jonathan Adkins has won a 2024 Dateline Award from the Society of Professional Journalists Washington, D.C. Chapter. Read the award-winning story.

🟠 The 2024 Ford Driving Skills for Life program tour rolls on! This long-running program teaches teen drivers the skills they need to keep themselves and others on the road safe, regardless of whether a car is part of their mobility journey. Upcoming events include Memphis (June 29-30), Buffalo (special Safety in Mobility event July 13-14), Chicago (July 20-21) and Cleveland (August 3-4), with more coming soon! Visit the Driving Skills for Life website to learn more.

🟠 A survey of drivers found that half of them would be open to active intelligent speed assistance systems that make it more difficult to speed or proactively limit the engine power. The Verge spoke with GHSA CEO Jonathan Adkins about speeding and how technology can help address this persistent safety problem. Read the story.

🟠 A group of researchers, led by New Jersey-based Stockton University professors and students, found that enhancing how police and the public interact during traffic stops may improve the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve. The project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. Read more.

🟠 GHSA and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) invite subject matter experts to volunteer as panelists for newly approved research projects. Details are available online. The technical oversight panels typically meet four times: 1) prepare an RFP; 2) select a research contractor; 3) kickoff meeting; and 4) interim meeting. The research project budgets cover all travel costs for panel members. The National Academies selects those who serve as panelists and nominations are due by Friday, July 26.

🟠 A TRB report documents moped and motor scooter safety usage patterns, identifies user profiles, assesses risk factors, develops safety improvement tools and establishes model licensing and training requirements. The research team also developed a web-based tool that can allow safety stakeholders to create social media graphics, posters and other visual content related to this growing transportation mode. Access the report and toolkit.

🟠 A survey of teens showed that nearly 60% of respondents said they had experienced distracted driving as a driver or passenger but only 38% saw it as a real danger, according to a team of youth reporters working with Youthcast Media Group. Learn more about the teen perspective on distracted driving in the story published by Route Fifty.

🟠 The Connecticut Department of Transportation is funding a new Connecticut Police Chiefs Association initiative that aims to improve communication between law enforcement and drivers during traffic stops. The focus is on what new drivers can expect during a traffic stop – which isn’t often covered in traditional driver education classes. Read or watch the News 12 Connecticut story.

SHSOs & Digital Alerting

Last year was pivotal for State Highway Safety Offices (SHSO), as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provided the first opportunity for states to apply for and use Section 405(h) program funds to make digital alerting technology available to law enforcement, EMS and other first responders working on the roadside. This is a proven technology that can help prevent collisions and save lives by providing in-vehicle alerts to drivers indicating there are emergency vehicles up ahead. Seven SHSOs are currently working with GHSA Associate Member HAAS Alert to make the technology available:

🟠 In Georgia, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) is set to implement a pilot program to address the alarming number of fatal struck-by collisions involving first responders, tow-operators and other vulnerable vehicles stopped on the roadside.

🟠 In Maine, the state's EMS fleet is being outfitted with digital alerting technology, which can minimize the risks first responders face navigating through traffic. Additionally, the state has set ambitious performance targets that include reducing the number of first responder fatalities to zero, through a comprehensive approach that includes digital alerting, as well as public education and awareness campaigns.  

🟠 In Massachusetts, the emphasis on roadway safety extends to reducing Move Over law violations, a critical concern for both local and state police. With a performance target of decreasing Move Over law violations by 9.3% over a three-year period, the state is equipping State Police with digital alerting technology.

🟠 Washington’s overarching goal of achieving zero fatalities and serious injuries on the roadways by 2030 drives the strategic initiatives outlined in the State Highway Safety Plan. Achieving a goal of zero fatalities by 2030 includes equipping first responder and incident response partner vehicles with digital alerting capabilities.

🟠 Nevada is partnering with its State Police to deploy digital alerting technology. From 2011 through 2020, there were 80 fatal crashes resulting in 96 fatalities in work zones across the state. Moreover, between January 2020 and June 2022, 59 Nevada State Police patrol vehicles were struck while on the roadside.

🟠 More than 45% of crashes in Wisconsin occur on rural local, county and state roads, and the average EMS response time is 51 minutes for a significant portion of the state’s population. The state is deploying digital alerting technology on Wisconsin State Patrol vehicles to mitigate roadside crashes and protect both emergency personnel and the public.

The ability for states to use 405(h) funding to make digital alerting technology available to first responders and other roadside workers marks a significant step forward in enhancing roadway safety nationwide. This program has unlocked lifesaving technology that can help prevent collisions and protect first responders and pedestrians on the roadside. By leveraging these funds, states can implement an innovative solution that can ultimately advance our country’s collective efforts to create safer roads for all.

Member Spotlight

Watch all Member Spotlights

HAAS Alert logoThis edition of Directions in Highway Safety is brought to you by HAAS Alert.

HAAS Alert builds lifesaving mobility solutions to make vehicles and roads safer and smarter. The company's collision prevention service Safety Cloud® is the industry-leading digital alerting solution for emergency responders, work zones, towing and recovery operators, and other professionals that work on and alongside roads. Safety Cloud digital alerting notifies drivers through vehicle infotainment centers and navigation apps when they're approaching active roadside incidents and hazards, providing advance warning up to 30 seconds in advance. Available on millions of vehicles and mobile devices, Safety Cloud digital alerts prevent distracted driving, protect vulnerable road users, and help fleets, cities, and agencies achieve Vision Zero and Safe Systems objectives.

Find out how you can sponsor the next Directions at


Contact Us

Directions in Highway Safety is published bimonthly by the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Resource Category